Murder of the Messengers. Warning: Graphic Content.

I have finally hit my peak with animal violence lately. This blog post has been brewing in my mind for almost a week, and today put the finishing and explosive touches on my words. Some of y’all might know that I am from Texas. Ya know, the state that you don’t mess with, everyone rides a horse, and also has a gun? Yea, I’m used to people exclaiming “I would just shoot his ass!” It’s common. Then you have the people who take their gun rights, weapons, or whatever to the extreme, and think they can show the world how bad ass they can be. I’m about to get all spiritual so if you can’t hang with, the little “x” is in the right corner.

I believe animals were given to us for a reason; they are the helpers of society. They give their companionship when we are lonesome. They give us warmth with their magnificent fur, they are silent, and always listening when we need them to. They give their lives, so that we may live. They are creations, and just as much masterpieces as we are through our creator. They are a direct representation of him, and beautiful. So beautiful that they become almost trophies in a way to the fools of society, and of value and honor to the warm-hearted.

Being Native American, I have studied in-depth about animal spirits as they are a huge part of this world. We are taught to be in constant communication with mother earth, and the creator. The creator (God) is in constant communication with us through his art, and his creations. Different animals possess different messages, and meanings. No, I don’t see just an everyday bird and think “Oh my gosh, a message!!” Messages, and animals sent to you by the creator are in a way out-of-place, special, and give you chills up your spine. You just know when you have been communicated to. The more we become in sync with communications, his creation, and the beautiful earth he gave to us…the more we are in sync with him. There is a reason the mountains, waterfalls, and animals take your breath away. He wanted you to feel that, and to feel him.

With this set aside, many people love to say that hunting in general is wrong, and wearing animal fur is awful and blah blah blah. I am a huge animal activist and lover, but in my ceremonies I am covered in their fur, and dancing alongside buffalo heads that men are wearing. Um, what?! You heard me. Native Americans (to this day) and then, hunt and hunted out of necessity. They needed to survive, and they knew these creatures had to provide. Prayers are common before hunting so that the animal may prepare to give its life to the people. They took into consideration what exactly they were about to do.

“Deer, I am sorry to hurt you, but the people are hungry.” -Choctaw

You may also witness this in an Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown New Mexico episode in Zia Pueblo. What blows my mind (and should everyones) is Native Americans used and use everything. They were not kept as trophies, but rather to honor the animal. They took what they needed, and made everything useful. Skunk furs are tied around our ankles, buffalo heads cover our men, coyote skins hang down the boy’s backs, as well as feathers are dangled from just about anything. Hides and fur keep us warm, and protected, and are highly valued in prayer. We didn’t just kill to wear their beauty, but we honor them and thank these animal’s lives in our dancing. Are you disturbed by the picture below? I didn’t think so.

Hopi Dancers performing at the Museum of Northern Arizona

So, why the frustration? I’m sick of animals being nothing more to the public than entertainment. Nothing more that something to poke at, or even at times disposed of. Nothing more than to capture, and make a trophy. I am disgusted at the “Americanized” culture people continue to abide by, and that our ancestors knew would happen, and fought against. When white settlers first came to America, they not only destroyed Native American’s themselves, but their culture, and their resources. Countless buffalo were wiped out, and wasted just for their hides. Natives were left to starve while white men sold valuable buffalo hides not giving a damn what they did. Buffalo carcasses sat out, and rotted in waste. I am beginning to see a similar resemblance in our culture today…

giraffe shot

kendall-lions-leopard2

Now, are those images disturbing? They should be. And let me say this; I have a fucking problem as should the rest of this world. I do not see compassion, I do not see thankfulness, I do not see honor. I see a direct representation of evil, cruelty, pride, and greed. I see joy in taking a life rather than honoring it. We are slipping into a society, and a way of thinking that we can behave how we want, we can treat others we feel “below” us how we want, and that we may take what we can see. I do not think so, not anymore. I am ashamed and outraged to share the same earth as these evil human beings, as should you be.

“Take only what you need from this earth, and leave the land as you found it.”

You better wake up America, and fight back against the evil rising up. Who is to say that your life and ways of living are not going to be threatened too? Who is to not say that one day you, and your life may one day be the trophy?

-haley.

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